How Important Is Your Dogs Oral Hygiene?

When you adopt a dog, there are many important details you should always be sure to do. One of the most important and often neglected steps is keeping your dog's oral hygiene well cared for and clean. Right along with building a bond, training, and feeding, your puppies oral health is just as vital.

Just like humans teeth, dogs need dental care as well. Even if your pup is still young enough to have a mouthful of baby teeth, keeping the gums clean is necessary. There are many products available, including rawhides, that help remove plaque.


If you see chew marks on your furniture, then you may want to start teaching the puppy all about trusting you to brush its teeth. Developing healthy oral hygiene early is one of the most critical care steps you can take for your pet.

That is because infection in the mouth spreads fast and can cause your dog to be very sick and even death. The best tip is to start when your pet is a baby so that when its permanent teeth come in, cleaning them will be a breeze.

The Following are Four Tips to Help You and Your New Dog Support its Good Health.

1. Count the Baby Teeth

First, first, take the time to teach the puppy that it is okay for people to handle his nozzle and mouth. That will help it be more tolerable for preventive dental care in the future. There is no need to set individual time aside to do this. You can begin while you have cuddle time by just moving its gums to the side to steal a peak of its pearly whites.

You can also check by rubbing your finger over its gums and teeth. Place your hands on its muzzle, one on the top and the other right below its jaw, then gently open its mouth. While you are doing this, talk to your pet in a happy voice with lots of praise for being such a good pet.

If you find that your pup is uneasy with you, break out the treats and pour out a load of affection.

2. The First Year With New Teeth

The first year of your pups life is a busy time in your dog's mouth. Typically, a puppy has its puppy teeth between the ages of eight and twelve weeks of age. These teeth will fall out on their own, making the way clear for its adult chompers.    

Often this varies from the breed and the dog itself. Most dogs boast a healthy 42 teeth in its mouth by the time it reaches eight months old.

3. Boy, This Table Leg Taste Good

Puppies would not be puppies if they were not always trying to chew on everything. This past time is not only fun to a puppy, but it also feels fantastic when they are teething. Between that relief and the relief of the pressure to the gums, as teeth are coming in and falling out, rubbing your pup's gums usually feels great.  

Chewing on items is also their way of exploring their curiosity and all the newness in its world.  The truth is, puppies have no clue nor does it care what items it's chewing on as long as it is chewing. It is your job to direct your pup on the on the “no-nos” as well as the right things for its chewing pleasure.

Along with the damage to your property, your dog can also damage its teeth and gums if a tooth breaks off in the gums. If the item is too hard, it could very well break the tooth off in the gums which usually requires surgery to repair. The vet bill will cost a lot more than you taking the time to train your pup that cleaning can be fun.

You can help keep your dog’s chewing safe by providing a variety of chew toys. There are plenty of chew items that are made entirely for your dogs chewing habits along with teething. A chew toy should never be so hard that it could break its teeth but hard enough to feel great on the puppies gums.  

The best type will be flexible with a bit of “give” to the surface. Try to dent the toy in with your fingernail. If you cannot make the dent, it more than likely is too hard for a puppy.

4. Thanks For The Toothbrush

With all the sprouting your pup is doing, you need to ensure to feed it a high-quality diet that will help develop healthy, strong teeth and bones. When you shop for food, do plenty of research to help determine which food is affordable but also a good match for dental health.   

Dry food is an excellent healthy choice to aid with oral health. When a dog crunches on the dry food, that will help with keeping your canine's teeth scraped and plaque free. Eating a dry food daily will reduce the odds of plaque development.

Canned food being wet is more likely the culprit to having food and plaque trapped in the crevices of the young puppy’s mouth. Once food particles begin to collect around the teeth, you will struggle to keep the gums free from infection.

However, if your pup likes wet food more than the dry, it is okay to feed it a healthy brand.  One other possibility is to feed your dog hard food with a spoonful or two of wet in with its food. You can also alternate between the two.


As hard as it may be to imagine, your puppy will eventually lose its baby teeth, and his adult dentures will take their place. Seeing its new, shiny teeth with food and plaque buildup is heartbreaking.

However, if you fail to keep the teeth free of brown tarter and built-up stains, you will soon see that pretty mouth looking and smelling horrible.

Be sure to keep Vet appointments to keep an eye on the health of your puppies mouth as it grows. Go ahead and get a head start with brushing while your pup is still a pup and willing to learn. 

Sarah Palmer

Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!

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